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Tri-County Recycling expands paper service

Thursday, February 3, 2005

The new year is seeing changes at the Tri-County Recycling Center near Cherokee Village in Fulton County. The Recycling Center is now processing mixed paper as opposed to sorted newspaper, magazines and cardboard only.

Tri-County board Chairman and Mammoth Spring Mayor Jean Pace said, "The market for all types of paper products is strong, and we want to take advantage of that."

This means that almost all paper items can be separated from household and business trash for recycling. Newspapers, magazines, telephone books, catalogs, office and school paper and even junk mail can now be recycled without having to sort anything The only items the center cannot accept are waxed items (milk cartons, paper plates, paper cups). Paper should be kept dry and clean of contaminants such as food and bundled or bagged. Cardboard is accepted even if it is wet, but dry is preferred.

Tri-County Recycling Center manager Larry Boksa said processing mixed paper also saves labor hours because it doesn't have to be sorted by hand before it is baled for shipment. "This time savings will allow us to handle increased volume," he said.

"Like any other business, recycling has to adapt to changes in the marketplace to be profitable," said Pace. "We're making those changes and are optimistic about Tri-County Recycling's potential for growth."

Another change at the Center is that it can no longer accept glass. The Arkansas market for glass no longer exists, and the cost of shipping it out of state exceeds the money received from its sale. The amount of glass received at the center has decreased over the past year, in part from the industry trend to change from glass to clear plastic.

Tri-County also accepts plastic bottles and jugs with #1 and #2 noted on the bottom (usually inside a triangle) and steel and aluminum cans. Bottles and cans should be empty and rinsed clean of any food product.

Tri-County Recycling is a private, non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. It operates with financial support from the sale of recycled products, state grant funds and limited assistance from cities and counties in its three-county service area of Fulton, Izard and Sharp counties. Arkansas Law (Act 749 of 1991) requires government entities to provide access to recycling in their communities.

The Tri-County Recycling Center is located at 500 Landfill Road, next to the Cherokee Landfill, just off Arkansas Highway 289 near the west entrance to Cherokee Village. Center hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. For information on Tri-County Recycling, contact Center manager Larry Boksa at 870-994-3020 or Sarah Sexton at the White River Solid Waste District offices in Batesville at 870-793-5233.

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